Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve: Talk About Fashion Forward

BY July 5, 2016


It should come as no surprise that technology creeps into every aspect of our daily lives. And while you can clearly see that in things such as your phone, your computer and your automobile, you might not think about the clothes on your back. You see, thanks to the 21st century and our need to be continually connected to our gadgets, fashion designers and textile manufacturers are frantically moving toward an interconnectivity for everything from your shoes to your swimwear. And when that day comes, what a magical day that will be. Luckily, we’re getting closer every day. So even though wireless trousers are still a dream for me, there are plenty of other sartorial options that are remarkable in their own right. And whether it be fabrics that wick away moisture, have antibacterial properties, air-purifying qualities or charge your devices

And when that day comes, what a magical day it will be.

Luckily, we’re getting closer every day. So even though wireless trousers are still a dream for me, there are plenty of other sartorial options that are remarkable in their own right. And whether it be fabrics that wick away moisture, have antibacterial properties, air-purifying qualities or charge your devices, the fashion world is already delivering.


Because Mood Rings Are Passé

I must admit to being guilty of saying “Never better” or “Terrific” or “Awesome” when someone asks me how I’m doing. I could have just lost my home in a craps game or had my best friend disavow me for some unknown reason, but if you ask, “I’m awesome.” Now, more often than not, I actually am awesome. But the Neffa Chameleon Mood Scarf is one of those accessories that takes the guesswork out of emotions. At first glance, it’s just a beautiful 100 percent silk chiffon scarf. But it’s been printed with thermochromic, photoluminescent and photochromic inks, all of which change colors based on body temperature, lighting and ambient temperatures. That’s right, this scarf actually changes colors as your body temperature changes with mood swings. I plan to get one and start wearing it immediately. Now co-workers can just take one look at my scarf and know to stay away. neffa.nl


When Velcro Is Too Much Effort

You would think that shoes are just about tapped out when it comes to technology upgrades. I assumed those flashing-light sneakers that little kids love were the high-water mark. But it seems the self-lacing sneakers from Back to the Future II are a reality—sort of. French tech/cobbler company Digitsole has created a line of smart shoes that are basically Teslas for your feet. Their sneakers will self-tighten around your feet with a click of an app on your smartphone. (Yes!) And they have built-in heaters to keep your tootsies toasty while shopping in the freezer section of Whole Foods. In addition, they keep track of your steps and calories burned, and they even have a light at the toe for no discernible reason. At $450 they’re a bit pricey, but who among us wants to waste another five seconds tying our shoes? FYI, they have a woman’s pump as part of the collection that also features the built-in heater, step tracker and calories counter. digitsole.com


Never Be Wet Again

If there is one problem with having easy access to all of Southwest Florida’s gorgeous beaches, it’s that you’re never really dry before you climb back into the Lamborghini for the drive home. Your bathing suit still retains an inordinate amount of the Gulf of Mexico, and your car seat ends up a little less pristine each time, destroying resale value. But what if there were swimsuits that actually repelled water? Well, thanks to nanotechnology, there are. Frank Anthony has swimwear and shorts for men and women that feature hydrophobic nanotechnology, keeping their fabric nice and dry, even if you splash all day long. In fact, several companies are utilizing this new technology making fabrics stain/spill-resistant. But if you can’t wait, or if you have a favorite dress that was created before modern technology allowed you to spill red wine down your front, Rust-Oleum (yes, that’s correct) has NeverWet fabric coatings that you spray on your clothing items to basically turn them into Superman’s cape. At least for several washings; then it starts to wear off. frank-anthony-swimwear. myshopify.com; neverwet.com


A Vested Interest

These days, we feel the need to keep our gadgets close to our hearts, quite literally. But most clothing designers still haven’t created products that allow us to carry even the simplest of things conveniently—such as our smartphones. I put my iPhone in my front pocket and it looks like I’ve just stolen an AirBake cookie sheet from a department store. Luckily, ScotteVest has heard our cries and made it their mission to give us a chance to rob the Apple Store and no one be the wiser. The company makes vests, jackets, coats and pants that are engineered to hold all of your gadgets—and in such a way that they don’t sag, pull or alter the line of the clothing. One vest, the QUEST vest, has 42 pockets (what?!?) that’ll hold everything from your phone to your iPads (that’s right, two iPad pockets) to a water bottle to your eyeglasses to your travel documents and much more. And most of these pockets have cord access, so you can have your headphones and chargers all connected. It’s amazing. scottevest.com


What You Feel Like Wearing

Of course, there’s also technology going into how we choose what we wear. Japanese clothier Uniqlo is utilizing technology in some of its stores that helps you dress to your mood. Customers put on a headset that measures brain activity while you watch various short videos. Based on those responses, the UMood computer matches you to a corresponding T-shirt. It’s kind of like wearing your heart on your sleeve, except it’s your torso. It sounds ridiculous, but crazy is a fundamental building block of the fashion industry. One thing is for certain: You’ll definitely be in the mood for a T-shirt. uniqlo.com


For the Fashionable Germophobe

Some people have an unhealthy fear of germs. For example, if you were to sneeze in the general direction of the girl I love, she would beat you to death with a hammer. That’s who she is. And the Scough (swear to God that’s the name) was created for people like her. It is a germ- and pollution-filtering scarf that is as functional as it is beautiful. Coming in a variety of styles and colors, it features active carbon and silver nanoparticles to trap and kill bacteria and other manners of ickyness. Best of all, you kinda look like a bank robber from an old Western. wearascough.com


Shrink Pack

Sometimes the biggest problem for fashionistas isn’t what to wear, but rather what to pack. A lack of space in your luggage while traveling can be a nightmare. Well, Creation Cell, a new startup company, has developed the Vago, a veritable vacuum sealer for your luggage. Based on the same technology as food vacuum sealers (only much tinier), Vago allows you to fit up to 50 percent more clothes into a suitcase, making shopping the boutiques along the Champs-Elysees a necessity. creationcell-vago.com


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